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Tuesday November 5, 2019 — Local Elections
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City of Brisbane
Measure B Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results


485 votes yes (68.6%)

222 votes no (31.4%)

To pay for the general municipal expenses, shall the City increase the uniform transient occupancy tax, payable by transients for the privilege of occupying a hotel room, to fourteen percent (14%) of the rent?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Thomas McMorrow, Interim City Attorney, City of Brisbane

A "transient occupancy tax" (TOT) is a tax that guests pay for the privilege of staying at hotels, motels, and tourist homes. The TOT is calculated as a percentage of the room rate.  For example, if a hotel room costs $200/night and the TOT were 10%, the hotel guest would pay a $20 TOT.  The guest pays the hotel and the hotel, in turn, remits the TOT to the taxing agency.  Most cities and counties in California have adopted a TOT.

At the general election in November 2009, Brisbane voters approved an ordinance imposing a TOT of 12%.  Although the amunt of the tax collected varies year by year due to the influx of visitors to the City, typically the City receives around $2.7 million annually through the TOT.  

If approved by the voters, this ballot measure would increase the TOT from 12% to 14%, resulting in an increase of tax revenue of approximately $200,000 annually.  A TOT of 14% is similar to the TOT assessed by other cities in San Mateo County (as well as in San Francisco) so increasing the TOT will not place the City's hotel operators at an economic disadvantage.

Because this tax is for general municpal purposes, under Proposition 218, adopted by the voters in 1996, a proposed increase in the TOT is subject to approval by a majority of the voters voting on the proposed increase at a regularly scheduled election at which members of the Brisbane City Council are elected.  The next regularly scheduled election for Council members is November 5, 2019.

A "yes" vote is a vote in favor of allowing the City to increase the TOT from 12% to 14%.

A "no" vote is a vote against allowing the City to increase the TOT from 12% to 14%.


Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

The ballot measure increases the tax on hotel guests from the current limit of 12% to 14%.  This will make the tax equivalent with other nearby cities. The tax is paid by hotel guests. The last increase on tthis tax was over 10 years ago. It is anticipated that the increase will generate approximately $250,000 a year and will grow over time. Funds generated will be used for general city services such as Police, Fire, and Parks and Recreation.

/s/ Madison Davis, Mayor

/s/ Terry O'Connell, Mayor Pro Tempore

/s/ W. Clarke Conway, Councilmember

/s/ Karen Cunningham, Councilmember

/s/ Cliff Lentz, Councilmember 

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